Guozijian - National Central Institution of Higher Learnings in Ancient China
The Guozijian (Kuo Tzu Chien; simplified Chinese: 国子监; literally "School for the Sons of the State"), sometimes translated as the National School, National Academy, Imperial Academy, Imperial University, Imperial College, Imperial Central School, etc., was the national central institution of higher learnings in Chinese dynasties after the Sui. It was the highest institution of learning in China's traditional educational system. In Vietnam, the Imperial Academy (Vietnamese: Quốc Tử Giám) existed after the Lý dynasty.
Formerly it was called the Taixue, while Taixue for Gongsheng (tribute students) from the populace was still part of Guozijian, along with Guozixue for noble students. The central schools of taixue were established as far back as 3 CE, when a standard nationwide school system was established and funded during the reign of Emperor Ping of Han. When disbanded during the 1898 reform of the Qing Dynasty, the Guozijian was replaced by the Imperial Capital University (also translated as Imperial University of Peking), later known as Peking University.
Guozijian were located in the national capital of each dynasty, such as Chang'an, Luoyang and Kaifeng. In Ming there were two capitals; thus there were two Guozijian, one in Nanjing and one in Beijing. In Qing there were also two Guozijian, one in Changsha and one in Beijing. The Guozijian, located in the Guozijian Street (or Chengxian street) in the Dongcheng District, Beijing, the imperial college during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (although most of its buildings were built during the Ming Dynasty) was the last Guozijian in China and is an important national cultural asset.